24 Nov 2011

Concerns raised at the delayed removal of derelict Niuean houses

8:17 pm on 24 November 2011

Niue's High Commissioner to New Zealand can't understand why the Niue government continues to put off the demolition of about 80 houses on the island, which she describes as an eye-sore and a health risk.

O'Love Tauveve Jacobsen - a former Niue health minister - was the driving force behind the exercise.

Most of the houses were abandoned by families who moved to New Zealand.

Ms Jacobsen is appalled that the government has deferred making a decision on the housing demolition until the next sitting of the High Court, in March next year.

"It worries me because a lot of these houses are not making our country look pretty. But it's also a health risk - many of these houses have got asbestos roofing, it's also hazardous in times of strong winds. All those things put together makes it not very good to have these houses continue to stand."

Ms Jacobsen says the houses need to be destroyed urgently, and she will be watching the situation closely in the new year.